Two young women, Esther (Emy Eco) and Cathy (Terry Thompson) decide to explore an old abandoned castle belonging to Countess Elizabeth (Flora Carosello). They are captured by a deformed crazy man named Carl (Victor Maddern), tortured and killed. Their bodies are then dumped in a field. Dr. Darnell (Adriano Micantoni) and his daughter Anna (Annie Alberti) are returning to a village located near the castle. Dr. Darnell sees a small group of people and the police standing over a blanket. He stops to assist. Under the blanket are the bodies of the two girls.
At the site is Raman (Antonio Boccaci). Raman is a Hindu prince that lives in the village. When Dr. Darnell introduces him to his daughter the prince is taken aback. Anna is the spitting image of Countess Irene. Raman had been in love with the Countess and they were to be married when she disappeared. Everyone assumes the Countess is dead but her body has never been found. Raman has been searching for her for years.
Anna has been having nightmares recently. In them she sees herself as the Countess being chased through the castle dungeons by someone in a suit of armor. She is stabbed with a lance. As she dies the person in the armor lifts the face plate. All she can remember of the face is the eyes. Dr. Darnell is a psychiatrist. He brought his daughter back to the village to try and find a way to stop the nightmares. Countess Elizabeth believes she is the reincarnation of Irene.
While out skinny dipping in a pond Anna meets George Dickson (Marco Mariani). George is a reporter who was on his way to the village to do a story on the two girls that were murdered when his car overheated. He went to get water from the same pond that Anna was swimming in. George and Anna fall in love. Anna’s father is not happy that a reporter is hanging around his fragile daughter.
George goes to the castle to investigate and runs into the giggling deformed gnome that tortures young women. George gets knocked out. Anna wakes up from a nightmare and goes into a trance. She wanders up to the castle and, in her trance, goes directly to the torture chamber. When George comes to, Anna’s father is there raving and looking for his daughter. Raman also shows up looking for her. Knowing Anna is in danger George and Raman team up to try to find a way into the castle but time is running out.
“Tomb of Torture” AKA “Metempsyco” was released in 1963 and was directed by Antonio Boccaci. It is an Italian gothic horror movie. It basically bombed at the box office to the point where it’s been totally forgotten. Boccaci is better known as a writer and he did write “Tomb of Torture”. This is his one and only time directing. He also appears in the film, in brownface, as Raman the Hindu prince. His acting skills are on par with his directing skills, rudimentary.
I’m not surprised that this film fell off everyone’s radar. The beginning was great but then it just kinda trailed off. Normally that would have been OK to some extent but the music score just doesn’t go with the gothic horror story. I don’t know what composer Armando SciasciaIt was thinking but it wasn’t gothic horror. The music basically strips the film of any atmosphere it might have had. Instead it makes the movie feel at times more like a romantic comedy and at others a spy thriller. On the positive side the ugly creature named Carl is quite creepy as is the nicely appointed torture chamber.
For some reason the rats in the torture chamber looked suspiciously like guinea pigs. Rats are supposed to have tails aren’t they?
The film was shot in Castle Orsini in Nerola near Rome.